Looking or an affordable place to ski with the family? KAG Contributor Lacey Keigley took her daughter to Appalachian Ski Mountain. While this review was written a few years ago, the post has been updated for the 2021-22 season.
Looking for more places to ski? Don’t miss our list of places to hit the slopes and ski or snow tube near Greenville, SC.
When you think winter sports and outdoor activity one of your first thoughts might be skiing.
If you’re a parent, your second thought might be: too expensive. Followed by inaccessible. Or, we’ll just have to wait until the kids are older to try this activity.
Skiing with young children – or older kids who are first-time skiers – can be intimidating and cost-prohibitive. It can seem like too much work and too much money for a trip that maybe won’t be as fun as the photos suggest it can be.
As a homeschooling mom with six children, I’ve heard all of these reasons for skipping the ski slopes and entertained all of these thoughts myself for years. Last winter, however, my family fell upon an opportunity that changed our house’s dialogue about skiing.
Our visit to Appalachian Ski Mountain
Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, NC (one of the closest ski slopes to our area) offers a winter Homeschool Special for families. It was my daughter’s thirteenth birthday that year and she wanted to try the slopes out as her birthday adventure. The timing was perfect.
Classes taught by the French-Swiss Ski College at Appalachian Ski Mountain are even included in the price. After trying out the bunny slope and managing the stops and starts just fine on our own, we opted to not take the ski class but when we head back up this season with all of the kids, I’ll definitely sign the younger ones up for the class.
The hills at Appalachian Ski Mountain are not so intimidating that a beginner is terrified, but they are plenty challenging enough for when your son or daughter (or you) become a bit of an “expert” after spending a day on the slopes. It’s a small enough mountain too, with one main ending spot for all of the slopes, that you can feel confident allowing your older children the freedom to go down slopes without you if that’s more your speed as well. In fact, those facts make it an excellent choice for beginning skiers and skiing families.
Get there early
It’s a gorgeous drive up past Asheville and into the mountains to reach the ski slopes. We stayed overnight and enjoyed an afternoon shopping and dining in Blowing Rock the day before we hit the hills. The check-in process at the ski slope was simple and straightforward. There were changing rooms to layer up and to unlayer after we finished skiing You can rent lockers to store your possessions in but there are also cubbies in the main rental area and these seemed to be more than adequate for our shoes and snacks while we were on the slopes. Appalachian Ski Mountain recommends you set aside at least an hour of prep time prior to your class and even more if you plan to rent any clothing.
Equally as important as good slopes and a workable system for families is the price factor. Skiing prices add up quickly between the costs of renting equipment paired with a lift ticket and adding in lessons for first-timers. The lovely benefit of choosing this special through Appalachian Ski Mountain is that your price is all-inclusive. (You won’t find many places with a deal like this.) In addition to their Homeschool Specials, they offer several different specials throughout the season, including snow day specials, a special Sunday night rate, and late season passes.
The Homeschool Program is designed for students ages 6 to 18 years old and family members. Ski lessons are for students ages 6-18 years old and snowboarding lessons are for ages 7-18 only.
Dates for the homeschool programs are:
- December 1 and 9, 2021
- January 6, 26 and 27, 2022
- February 2, 3, 16, 17, 23, and 24, 2022
- March 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2022
Homeschool Program Costs
Prices per person for skiing are $32, which includes eight hours on the slopes, ski boots, poles, and a helmet.
Prices per person for snowboarding are $38 and includes an eight-hour slope ticket, Burton board, boots, and a helmet.
A one-hour lesson add-on is $12/person, which is certainly recommended for first-timers! Beginner lessons are at 11:15 am and an intermediate workshop is at 12:30 pm.
Reserving Your Spot
All homeschool programs must be reserved by midnight the day before and are only available for residents of NC, SC, GA, VA, and TN. A homeschooling authorization letter is required.
You can reserve your spot at www.appskimtn.com and use the promo code HOMESKI2022 for skiing reservations and HOMESNOW2022 for snowboarding reservations.
You can attend as many homeschooling days as you like, there’s no limit!
This is key. Allow at least one hour of preparation time. Upon arrival at Appalachian Ski Mountain go downstairs to the French-Swiss Ski College Counter located on the lower level of the lodge to sign in and receive tickets. Fill out equipment forms, get your equipment, and proceed to the “Ski School Meets Here” sign 10 minutes before lesson times.
Where to Stay
This section contains STAY22 affiliate links.
Appalachian Ski Mountain has partnered with a nearby inn to offer discounted rates too. My daughter and I actually stayed at this inn on our trip last winter. The inn is an older one but it’s sweet and clean and conveniently located. They offered a good warm continental breakfast in a lovely dining area. While I wouldn’t declare it luxury it was more than pleasant and provided a low-cost and enjoyable option for the two of us.
To find out more about these special rates, call the hotel directly – Meadowbrook Inn at Blowing Rock 828.295.4300.
It’s a great opportunity to gather with friends and hit the slopes.
Have you taken your kids skiing recently?